Sunday, July 15, 2007

Taylor Ostrander Diaspora

In the Sunday New York Times Business section, Ben Stein beats the same drum I'm beating for Pittsburgh:

I KNOW that I have beaten this drum before, but let me beat it again. I wonder whether there is some well-organized human being in the government or private sector who could create an organization that would go into schools on a continuing basis and teach people how careers are made. I wonder whether there could be some link with teachers in schools in nonrich neighborhoods who could tell helpful men and women about boys and girls who need mentors to get them going into higher education and entry-level jobs, and then to counsel them about how to behave on the job and in school.

Mr. Stein offers a paean to his social network, namely his parents, particularly his father. He recognizes the value of his connections and how they define his success. What about the people who do not have any shoulders on which to stand?

As Mr. Stein laments, better fiscal and economic policy will not provide the leg up needed to address inequality. Those of us rich with connections might share our wealth with those bright and promising enough to make good use of them. The region with the best and most accessible talent network might win the migration game, in the Flat or Spiky World.

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